In the novel Sudden Death, the author, Rita Mae Brown, made the defining statement that "Insanity is doing the same thing over and over again but expecting different results." Though many misquote the phrase as having been dictionary-worthy, the intent remains the same. In the dictionary of Detroit Tigers manager Jim Leyland, you might as well consider the statement as fact.
We, the Detroit fan base, have seen it coming. The media, also, knew how important the current road trip would be. The Tigers needed to win seven out of ten games against the Angels, White Sox and Indians to not only continue pushing toward the American League Central Division championship, but also to cement themselves as a team worthy of expectations. Someone should have told that tidbit to Leyland.
After losing three-straight games to Anaheim, the Tigers went to Chicago for their final series against the team currently maintaining control over the division. All of the flack given to the Tigers' manager over the course of the season would be a distant memory, should he be able to take control of the series and subsequent division lead. Unfortunately, the same glaring inadequacies managed to doom the squad from the first pitch.
Leyland's penchant for loyalty has far outweighed his rationality. While he claims to be a "numbers guy," the numbers he is using to dictate his lineups, once again, are flawed. Ryan Raburn, the scourge of every Tigers' fan's existence was inserted, once again, into a pivotal game, despite his inability to both hit and field the ball. While that may be justifiable for Leyland because of his loyalty, the numbers do not mesh.
Leyland's rationale was that Raburn had been successful at U.S. Cellular Field, having totaled a .308 batting average, eight homeruns and 30 RBI in 46 career games. However, history matters little when that span was over five seasons in the major leagues, dispersed between minor league options, and he's currently having one of his worst seasons, batting a putrid .171. As expected, it backfired as Raburn went 1-for-3 and gave up an error that led to a 6-1 dispatching by the White Sox.
Forget the numbers. Forget the loyalty. The Tigers are now at the point where another loss during this road trip will all but eliminate them from the Central Division title hunt. Leyland has shown a massive lack of urgency and failure to understand simple baseball semantics. Near the end of a vastly-under-performing season, with the team nearly out of contention, the last thing we have to look forward to is the day Jim Leyland gets cozy with Matt Millen on the unemployment line. Though I am sure he will find another managerial position with another franchise, at least it won't be with Detroit.
The author, D. Benjamin Satkowiak, is a successful entrepreneur and published, freelance author, who has tailored works on various sports, health and fitness topics. He currently serves as a Yahoo! Contributor Network "Featured Contributor" and writes on the Detroit Tigers, Detroit Lions, Great Lakes Loons and Notre Dame football.
- Sports & Recreation
- Detroit Tigers
- Jim Leyland
- White Sox
- Ryan Raburn